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Tuesday, August 24, 2010


YUM! I'm getting fat off of pies and cobbler!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Banquet and received free coupons to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate

WE have been making homemade pies and cobbler with your fresh blackberries and raspberries. But the fresh fruit won't last forever.

For 50 years, Banquet has been making the familiar foods that families love. From Salisbury steak to crispy fried chicken and turkey pot pies to chicken breast tenders, you can always count on Banquet to provide consistently good taste at a great value.

Banquet products include frozen dinners, pot pies, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, tenders and patties, Banquet wings, Homestyle Bakes, and Crock-Pot® Classics.

Banquest new fruit pies will keep us through the winter!
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Beat the Heat

It has been a moderate summer for us. But when it' hot, it's HOT!

Beat the Heat this summer and help reduce heat related injuries and yes death.

* Moms play a key role in keeping their athletes safe, so Moms need to understand that young athletes may be at greater risk for heat-related illness and know the ways to prevent it.

* Water isn’t enough. While fundamental, water alone does not hydrate and refuel as effectively as Gatorade.

* Gatorade supplies the proper amount of fluid, electrolytes and carbohydrates to rapidly put back what your young athlete loses in sweat and provides energy to keep them going.

* In drinking water, the brain may turn off the perception of thirst before the body’s overall fluid needs are met and stops the athlete from fully rehydrating. The electrolytes in Gatorade help maintain the stimulus to drink so athletes drink enough to replenish and refuel .

* Equipment makes a difference - wear light net-type jerseys, T-shirts and shorts, change sweat-soaked clothing, avoid wearing excess clothing, remove helmets when not playing and remember to stay hydrated.

* You can help- download a free Gatorade Heat Safety Kit found at For every unique download Gatorade will donate $1 to “Beat the Heat” charities up to $20,000.

Gartoade G Series fuels your body, before, during and after practice, training or competition.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Gatorade’s “Beat the Heat” campaign and received Gatorade samples to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate
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Shady Day Daily Sun Protection Wipes

I'm sorry but there is nothing worse than putting sunscreen on your children and having to spray some in your hands and then hope you don't get it in their eyes when you try to put it on their face and then becuase it is SO waterprrof you can't get it or the smell off your hands! YUCK! But someone has to do it!

Shady Day Daily Sun Protection Wipes
Shady Day Daily SPF 30 wipes provide a convenient mess free way to apply broad spectrum UV protection. Hygenic pre-moistened sunscreen wipes are designed for the entire body with an absorbent formula leaving the skin feeling dry and smooth. Perfect for the whole family and people on the go!

-Contains no artificial ingredients or synthetic fragrances.

-Vitamins E, A, mango fruit extract, cactus flower extract and organic aloe vera provide moisturing and antioxidant protection.

Active Ingredients:

Octocrylene 10%, Octinoxate 7.5%, Oxybenzone 3%, Avobenzone 2%

- Awarded "Best New Product by EXTRACTS 2006"
- A 2008 and 2010 NAPPA Honors Award winner

I recevied a free product to review for this post in conjunction with Mom Central.
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Monday, August 23, 2010


Back To School Break!

This week I am taking a break! Getting the house and children ready for back to school. I've NEVER been home with my children so I have NO idea what goes into school days! Good thing I posted some great tips the last couple of weeks. Now I have to get started on them! See you August 30th!
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Friday, August 20, 2010


Favorite Meals Made Meatless Cookbook - Giveaway

We try to eat at least one meatless meal per week. Not only is it better for you but it can save you some money as well!

It is finally here! Our new book, Homestyle Favorites Made Meatless - Cooking with Meat Substitutes . Full of tips for turning family favorites into meatless dishes that are better than the originals! A great way to stretch your grocery budget, get healthy, and solve the problem of what to feed your vegetarian teen. Order today and get a free bonus: The Meatless Pantry Checklist and Meatless Pantry Creations - Design Your Own Soup, Stir-Fry and more! PDF Version also available.

Tanya Peila and Wine Barrel Gormet are giving away a copy of Favorite Meals Made Meatless Cookbook !
Ways to enter to win:
1. Comment below why you would like to win!
2. Subscribe to my blog!
3. Follow Me on Twitter
4. "Like" Tanya Peila on Facebook.
5. Tweet about this giveaway.
6. Blog about this giveaway.

Leave a comment for EACH entry method please.

Winner will be chosen August 22, 2010. PLEASE make sure you leave an email address where I can get a hold of you! US entries only.
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Workout From Home

If you can’t make it to the gym every day or don’t have the money for a gym membership, here’s some creative solutions for getting fit.

When I head out to an appointment, I don’t expect my clients to have a full fitness center in their home, nor do I rely on them having all the equipment. When I pull in the driveway to train the family, or simply their kids, I tend to use everyday items, i.e. pool rings, stepping stools, light weights, etc.

Although going to the gym can be an awesome experience, it’s not absolutely necessary for getting in shape. By using household items, or simply modifying the way you do chores, you can get an amazing workout from the convenience of your own home.

As long as you’re’re working! Whether you’re walking around the block, or cleaning the house as fast as you can, the workout doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to get your heart rate up! It also doesn’t hurt to have fun while you’re doing it!

Being a firm believer in “Family Fitness”, have the whole family involved, make it fun and do it together! If you’re watching television, have a competition during the commercials of who can do the most abdominal crunches or pushups. Taking a walk after dinner every night is a wonderful way to get your kids used to exercise and also a great time for the family to truly relax and talk about the day.

If you truly want an intense workout, the biggest trends in fitness right now are those that involve using your body weight as resistance. If you really want a tough workout, go back to the basics! Pushups, sit-ups, mountain climbers, up / downs (also called burpees), pull ups, squats and walking lunges are amazing exercises that involve little to no equipment. If there would be one piece of equipment I could recommend to someone trying to lose weight, buy a jump rope! If you start with a minute or two a day and work your way up, you improve your cardio level, and burn an insane amount of calories!

A few examples of household items you can use for equipment are:

• Water Bottles: You can create an entire “weight” system on water bottles alone. Use smaller water bottles to start, then increase up to the gallon size jugs which weigh about 8 pounds each. Adding sand to the gallon can make it up to 15 pounds! Carry them while doing the squats or walking lunges.
• Stepping Stool: Using a stepping stool, practice stepping up and down and have fun with it! This not only works your quads, but also your butt and your hamstrings, which is definitely a common area with women. Additionally, the step can be a measurement by which you do squats. Squat down until your butt hits the stool, then stand back up.
• Chair: By using a sturdy, armless straight-back chair, you can do dips or even put your feet on the chair to do a more difficult pushup. You can also use the chair as a bench to do curls or different exercises with resistance bands.

Regardless of the exercise or equipment, the important thing is to make sure you’re active. Even playing with your children can turn into an excuse to exercise. Challenge them to run an obstacle course, do laps in the driveway or even play with a hula hoop. With a little creativity, you can make anything an exercise.

Heather Hackett is the Chief Fitness Officer of I Train Your Kids, a company focused on improving the health of children and their families through proper nutrition and exercise. Starting this Fall, Heather will also be offering online training and nutrition counseling which will allow her to train any child or family, anywhere. To contact Heather or for more information, please visit
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Thursday, August 19, 2010


Summer Fitness For Family Fun

There is nothing I love more than warm weather and sunshine and if you are looking for a way to improve your fitness level, summer is the time year when you can enjoy many activities that cannot be enjoyed at any other time. So, get your outdoor gear ready and prepare to have some fun.

Kayaking is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the water and get a workout at the same time. This sport gives you a great upper body workout and burns about 340 calories per hour. There is a learning curve when it comes to removing yourself from a closed kayak. Enjoy the beauty of the water and its wildlife from a kayak.

Inline skating is a great way to burn calories. This activity gets rid of more than 800 calories an hour as well as toning the lower body. The parks in my area are full of people enjoying nature on skates. This is an activity that is easy on your joints and if this is something you always thought you would enjoy, but are afraid take lessons and enjoy the outdoors on skates.

Hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors and leave the rate race least for a short while. This activity burns about 400 calories per hour and is great for your heart and lungs. Make sure you are wearing shoes that are broken in and are not going to hurt your feet. There is no better way to enjoy the beauty of the earth than by hiking through the wilderness.

Bicycling is a great way to spend time with your family and burn 500 calories per hour. There are cycling clubs that ride in the parks and also along other bike trails. This has become a popular activity for both individuals and groups. This is great sport for people from 6 to 80. This is another one that is also easy on the joints.

Swimming is a great family sport that burns about 800 calories an hour. Some of the activities that are most fun are badminton and volleyball played in the water. Treading water is a fantastic way to exercise in a nongroup setting and water aerobics is another activity done in the water that has become popular in recent years.

Summer is the best time to get physically fit just because it is easy to make exercise fun. It can be an individual event or something that is done as a group or with your family. If you can get yourself in a fitness routine in the summer, it is that much easier to carry it over into the winter.

By: Marjorie Salada

Article Directory:

Marjorie is an author that enjoys writing about health and finance. You can visit her latest site at where you can find information on Used Exercise Bikes.
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Tango, one of the most fun forms of exercise

Tango dancing is one of the most fun forms of exercise available! Its been one of the main topics of major medical news stations and channels, that social dancing has become a great method to replace the needed twenty minutes of brisk walking that doctors have been recommending for years. Dancing the Tango can do many things to improve your overall health. For one thing, dancing the Tango, or any style of dance for that matter, helps improve your respiratory functions by helping the blood flow across your entire body. The rigid stance demands promote excellent posture, as dance instructors will grill it into you until it is part of your second nature. The dance itself is great for burning calories as well, the fast paced movements tend to make it one of the most valuable dances in terms of losing weight! Not all Dances were created equal, as you can tell by examining the amount of calories burnt per hour:

* Ballroom/Tango: 180-480 * Belly dancing: 180-300 * Jive/swing dance: 250-400 * Line dancing: up to 300 * Salsa: 400

Tango has started to be used as a Therapy for people with certain levels of dementia, and diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. In these methods, prevention tends to be the best method, starting before the symptoms can occur. It also offers the benefits that come with an equal amount of physical exercise, such as lower blood pressure, and cardiac diseases. It is often seen as better then most of these types of exercises, since it increases balance and and requires you to use your entire body. Its not uncommon for people to find muscles in there feet they didn't know existed before. It works by dancing steps that help your balance, equilibrium, memory, posture; your movement from your own axis, levity, synchronization, syntonisation , psycho tonic dialogue, feeling through your physicality. Tango Dancing, at its base, is a social activity. Studies have shown that strong social ties and socializing with friends contribute to high self-esteem and a positive outlook. Most major cities have a lot of activities involving dance occurring- I live in Portland Oregon and there is a Portland Tango event every single night. A simple google search will find you activities occurring in your own city. Tango being a social dance, it is seen as a way for people dealing with divorce and depression to connect to the outside world- helping them, get out of the rut there life was currently in.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Coin Patterning

Target Age: Late Three-Year Old

Materials You Will Need: assortment of coins

What To Do:
While waiting in a restaurant, use the coins you have in your pocket or wallet to practice patterning with your child. Start with simple patterns, like penny, nickel, penny, nickel and see if your child can continue the pattern. Try more complicated patterns with more than two coins or let your child come up with his/her own patterns.
Skills Learned:
• Size and Shape Discrimination
• Counting Concepts
• Patterning

Visit for more fun and simple activities customized to the age of YOUR child (ages newborn to 5)!
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Medieval Herber

Grow, harvest, and use Medieval Plants with DuneCraft’s brand new Medieval Herber! These plants were used in the middle ages for food, medicine, paints, and other household purposes and were kept in a miniature windowsill planter. Medieval Gardens were nearly always rectangular and raised, as this garden is. The Medieval Herber starts sprouting in only three days and is very easy to grow.

This all-inclusive kit includes eight plant varieties from the Middle Ages, a state of the art windowsill greenhouse, planting mixture, and more! The Medieval Herber is safe for ages 4 and up and retails for $14.99!
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Get Fit with the Family

One thing that is shared by Mums around the world is the feeling that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. If you slump down onto the sofa after a day of cleaning, tidying, washing and cooking and feel that spark of motivation to spend an hour on the treadmill, you’re certainly in the minority. For the rest of us, the feeling that we could be doing more to improve our health and fitness is off-set by the fact that we’re just too rushed off of our feet to find the time to do much about it.

There’s no need to feel guilty that health and well-being is pushed to the bottom of the pile, behind homework and tomorrow’s packed lunch. However, in a world filled with cars, microwaves and TV dinners, it’s really important that you teach the merits of a healthy lifestyle to your children, and there’s no better way than being a good role model. So, here are some ways that you can squeeze some activity into your daily routine without realising:

Do Things Together: Children make great personal trainers and they’re free! So pull out your bicycles from the back of the garage and go on an adventure together. If you have little ones who are too young to cycle for themselves, those great seats or towable tents can make them feel included in the fun. Don’t limit cycling time to a Sunday afternoon only; there are plenty of trips that you can make during the week where the car can be left at home18

Start a Routine: If everybody pulls their weight after dinner to clear the table and load the dishwasher, you’ll have time to go for a half-hour stroll before bed-time. Walking aids digestion, helps you to get to sleep faster and is the perfect opportunity to have one-to-one time with your children to chat about school without the distraction of the TV set.

Make it a Play Date: If you feel a bit daunted by the idea of taking the kids to the swimming pool alone, why not call up a good friend and make a play-date of it? The responsibility of keeping an eye on the kids will be shared between the two of you and the splashing around and having fun will help to burn far more calories than you would if you were sat in front of the Wii. Also, going with a friend adds an extra level of motivation, as you will be far less likely to change your mind 5 minutes beforehand.

Join a Team: Summer activity schemes usually start around this time of year, so keep your eye out for soccer, football and softball teams advertising in your area. Some teams have both junior and Mom & Dads’ leagues too, and the sense of team-spirit and new friends that you make will make going to training feel like more of a social event than exercise.

Have Fun: Do you often find yourself gazing out of the kitchen window while your little ones are having a great time chasing around garden? Well, put down the scouring cloth, step away from the sink and join in! Spending half an hour running after a Frisbee or playing goalie isn’t going to put you behind on your chores for the rest of the week, but it’ll certainly get your blood pumping and the smiles all-round will make it all worthwhile.

About the author: Victoria Crowdell works for, leading suppliers of ‘capital’ sports equipment and wet pour safety surfaces.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Get the Kids off the Couch **Outdoor Fun from International Playthings

What better way to enjoy the springtime than by getting the kids off the couch and outside for some active play? These days, little ones are spending way too much time in front of the computer, playing video games, and watching TV. In fact, The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine recently found that children with more TV exposure tend to participate less in class and have lower math grades. They are also less likely to be physically active on weekends, and have body mass index scores that are about 5 percent higher than their peers. International Playthings loves to encourage productive play by offering a range of toys that get kids into the great outdoors!

New from International Playthings’ proprietary iPlay line of toys, are two hot items for spring, when the days are warmer and longer, allowing for plenty of outdoor fun.

Soccer Trainer

The soccer trainer set is fun to use while improving ball control and coordination while practicing kicks! The set includes an 8-inch ball that is attached to the base. The ball is easy to inflate using the included pump whose needle stores inside the handle. Before playing, simply weight the base with either sand or water. It is versatile and can be played alone or with a friend! Soccer Trainer, for ages 3+, retails for $19.99.
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Summer Fitness For Busy Women: 4 Quick Exercises To Stay Firm During Bikini Season

It’s summertime, and the living is easy – except when you have to think about putting on an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini! But don’t worry, there’s still time to get in shape to strut your stuff on the beach or the boardwalk!

These tried-and-tested exercises can give you quick results with just 10 minute focused workouts every other day. (If you’re on a serious mission and feeling really motivated, feel free to go for it every day!) And don’t forget to mix up these moves with some cardio work, even if it’s a game of soccer with the kids or a brisk walk to the park. Take advantage of the extra quality time you’re spending with the kids, family or friends this summer - whether at home or on vacation - and put the fun things you do to work to stay active. Every calorie counts!

And after a few weeks with these exercises, you can look your best in the season’s latest teeny-weeny bikini fashions! Have fun in the sun – but don’t forget the sunscreen!!

Dolphin Kicks
For this exercise you want to balance your weight on your forearms with your elbows directly underneath your shoulders. Make sure to pull your shoulder blades down towards the hips (away from your ears) – this will keep the stress off your shoulders. Extend your hips and spine, pull in your abs (this supports your torso) and bend your right knee slightly off the floor for more support. First Inhale, and then as you exhale extend your left leg straight out to hip height, contracting the glutes and hamstrings. Your hips should be facing forward at all times. With a slight bend, return the left leg to meet the opposite supporting leg.

Repeat up to 20 repetitions, keeping the torso still, then switch to the other side.

Muscle Focus:
Glutes, hamstrings, abs, and lats.

Super Butt Kicks
Lay down on your back, placing your arms down by your side. Lift your hips off the floor in a bridge position. Your right knee should be bent with the heel in line with your sit bone, and your left leg should be extended straight up. As you inhale, lower your left leg to the floor. Be sure to keep your hips still and maintain the bridge position. Exhale and bring the leg back up to the start position

Repeat up to 20 reps, then lower your left leg to the floor in the same bent position as the right. Lower your butt to the floor, rest, and change over to the other leg.

Muscle Focus:
Glutes, hamstrings, abs

Dead Bug
Lay down on your back with knees bent at a 45-degree angle. Head, neck and shoulders should be off the floor and hands resting on your knees. On an exhale, draw in your abs and simultaneously extend your left leg out and your right hand over your head. Repeat this move, alternating your arms and legs. Keep your eyes focused on your belly button at all times, and if you start to feel tension in your neck, lower your head down to the floor. (This will get easier as you build more strength in the abs.)

Build up to 20 repetitions completed twice with a 30-second to 1-minute break. Make sure not to sacrifice form.

Muscle Focus:

Side Plank Leg Lifts
Lay down on your side, balancing on your right hip and resting on your right forearm. Your right elbow should be directly underneath your shoulder and your knees bent and stacked on top of each other. While exhaling, contract your abs, and lift your hips off the floor. At the same time, extend your left arm and leg out to the side of your body, making sure to keep the knee and toe facing forward.

Try for 10-15 reps, then turn over onto your other side and repeat.

Muscle Focus:
Glutes, abs

By: Tracey Mallett
Article Directory:

Highly sought after fitness expert 15+ years in the fitness industry, Tracey Mallett can help the busiest women get into shape. Her Super Body Boot Camp Burn It and Firm It and 3-in1 Pregnancy System exercise DVDs each feature different cardio workouts that hone in on techniques that will strengthen and reshape your body’s major muscles – in just 15 minutes per day. Even the busiest women have 15 minutes in a day – so buy one of her DVDs now at:
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Monday, August 16, 2010

The great summer festivals are ready to hit the continental Europe with the season gradually approaching towards its end. Visitors to the continent in the next few months will be able to participate in a number of events to be hosted by the countries across the British Channel from which we have selected a few wonderful festivals in France which would be an added attraction for people travelling to France at the end of this summer.

With several ferries to France plying on the Dover-Calais route and the Dover-Dunkirque route across the Channel, travellers have a plenty of choice to go for a fantastic summer break to the continent with friends and family. They could easily book a ferry with any of these companies taking advantage of the cheap summer deals currently available with most of these operators. Not only is it economic but also very convenient to load the cars with as much luggage as possible and sail towards the most popular destinations in France that are ready to welcome the visitors with the great musical feast. Unlike the UK where people celebrate summer festivals by enjoying live rock music on the streets and unlimited beer, the seasonal festivals in France come with more cultural flavour with them. Once such festival is, Les Nuits de Fourviére held in Lyon every year from June to August. The two- month long event organises a number of programmes including theatre, dance, music and film. Burgundy is one more festival that takes place in Beaun between 3 to 26 July, playing a wonderful series of Opera concerts, the ‘sacred music’ and the festival is popularly known as Festival International d’opéra baroque de Beaune. People looking for more classical music can visit Nancy and Lorraine for the Nancyphonies – Festival de Nancy between 8th July and 5th August.

If you plan your trip in August, there is one more festival to entertain you in Vallée de la Vézére, Limousin, called Festival de la Vézére to be organised between 10 July and 21 August. Here you can enjoy classical music performed by very popular soloists. Normandy is another region in France to fulfil your musical thirst with the Heures Musicales de l’abbaye de Lessay in Lessay, which is a fantastic event that would surely leave you spellbound. The festival running between 13 July and 20 August presents religious and secular classical and baroque music by some of the world’s greatest performers. One more festival in this season, which certainly deserves a mention is the Festival d’lle de France that starts from 4 September and concludes on 11 October. It plays almost 30 music concerts, from baroque to jazz in various historic venues across the country. Sail with a ferry and drive into the rural locations to enjoy the best time of the year in France when the whole country becomes alive with the beats of music played across the whole region.
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Bucketfillers For Life - Giveaway

Child bullying is a very serious problem these days.

According to
Bullying is no longer about the strong picking on the weak in the schoolyard. The physical assault has been replaced by a 24 hour per day, seven days a week online bashing. Savvy students are using Instant Messaging, e-mails, chat rooms and websites they create to humiliate a peer. No longer can parents count on seeing the tell-tale physical signs of bullying—a black eye, bloody lip, torn clothes. But the damage done by cyber bullies is no less real, and can be infinitely more painful.

Cyber Bullying Statistics
42% of kids have been bullied while online. 1 in 4 have had it happen more than once.
35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly 1 in 5 have had it happen more than once.
21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages.
58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out of 10 say it has happened more than once.
53% of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful to another person online. More than 1 in 3 have done it more than once.
58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.
Based on 2004 i-SAFE survey of 1,500 students grades 4-8

If you want to turn your kids, or any kids on to KINDNESS, get this book! True Bucketfilling Stories: Legacies of Love is quite new but has an impressive number of 100% 5-star reviews on Amazon. These are true, entertaining stories of ordinary people who chose kindness instead of meanness, compassion instead of judgment with others. Then each story tells of the positive ripple effects those choices had in their lives and in the lives of other people. Want to give your children REAL heroes to emulate? Then read these true stories with them about folks, adults and children, they will be able to relate to. At the end of each story is a section called "Let's Talk about It" with questions that will easily facilitate healthy discussions about choices and feelings.

Tanya Peila and Bucketfillers For Life, Inc. are giving away a copy of True Bucketfilling Stories, Legacies of Love.
Ways to enter to win:
1. Comment below why you would like to win!
2. Subscribe to my blog!
3. Follow Me on Twitter
4. "Like" Tanya Peila on Facebook.
5. Tweet about this giveaway.
6. Blog about this giveaway.

Leave a comment for EACH entry method please.

Winner will be chosen August 15, 2010. PLEASE make sure you leave an email address where I can get a hold of you! US entries only.
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Goodbyn - Giveaway

Little Man was so exited to get to decorate this great waste free (and recyclable) lunch box!

Goodbyn is a small company in Seattle who had a little idea to reinvent the way kids eat lunch—making lunchtime easier, more inspiring and fun for both kids and parents. From the beginning, we decided to be as transparent as possible about our decisions as a company: how we produce, ship and get product to market. Below, you’ll find information about our materials, suppliers, vendors and craftsmen whose unrelenting energy has made Goodbyn possible.

All of Goodbyn’s products are manufactured in Michigan at Cascade Engineering. They were Byndoo’s choice from the beginning because of their capabilities in engineering, an impressive client list, and high-volume manufacturing capacity. We also preferred Cascade because of their transparency in labor and environmental ethics. They have garnered innumerable awards and certifications for their stewardship to the environment, their employees and community, and setting a new standard by which all other companies will measure themselves in the future.

We chose to use a local printer in Washington state, because they offered local quality with corporate efficiencies. They are FSC-certified and are very much in-tune with their waste and recycling procedures. We utilize their unique printing expertise with vegetable-based inks, recycled materials, and water-based solvent adhesives. We also use their warehouse to store, assemble and fulfill orders for Goodbyn. They’re the last link in the chain before Goodbyns reach their next destination: the store shelves and really excited kids.

Each Goodbyn lunchbox comes with a drink bottle and set of two sticker sheets! Select your purchases below by typing in the quantities desired, then click 'add to cart' to proceed.

Tanya Peila and Goodbyn are giving away a Goodbyn Lunchbox!
Ways to enter to win:
1. Comment below why you would like to win!
2. Subscribe to my blog!
3. Follow Me on Twitter
4. "Like" Tanya Peila on Facebook.
5. Follow Goodbyn on Twitter.
6. "Like" Goodbyn on Facebook
5. Tweet about this giveaway.
6. Blog about this giveaway.

Leave a comment for EACH entry method please.

Winner will be chosen August 15, 2010. PLEASE make sure you leave an email address where I can get a hold of you! US entries only.
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ALPHIE - Giveaway

Little Princess LOVES her Alphie!

ALPHIE robot, the loveable, learning toy is back and better than ever with lots to say and lots to play! A cheerful, curious personality and friendly voice enliven this treasured ALPHIE pal who encourages children to learn and have fun.

(Ages 3 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $39.99/Available: Fall 10)
Now more lifelike than ever before, this learning pal boasts an LCD screen to depict facial expressions, a childlike friendly voice and a playful, inquisitive personality making ALPHIE robot not just a learning toy, but a beloved companion. Along with an animated personality that children will adore, this modern ALPHIE pal from PLAYSKOOL features important educational activities that can help develop early learning skills in toddlers. With their playful ALPHIE learning pal leading the way, preschoolers can learn about the alphabet, rhyming, counting, color and shape recognition, matching, animal names, instrument sounds and much more! The ALPHIE learning pal has a sleek new look and convenient carrying handle and comes with thirty double-sided cards containing over 350 fun questions and challenges. Requires three "AA" batteries, included. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on

(Ages 3 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Fall 10)
Engaging alphabet, counting and animal themed booster packs allow children to expand the learning fun with their fascinating ALPHIE pal from PLAYSKOOL. Kids will have a blast playing new activities with their fun loving ALPHIE pal as they discover animal habitats, practice phonics skills and more! The expansion packs also offer additional animations and phrases, keeping kids interested and engaged. Each pack is sold separately and includes over 300 questions and challenges. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on

Tanya Peila and Hasbro are giving away one Alphie!
Ways to enter to win:
1. Comment below why you would like to win!
2. Subscribe to my blog!
3. Follow Me on Twitter
4. "Like" Tanya Peila on Facebook.
5. Follow Hasbro on Twitter.
6. "Like" Hasbro on Facebook
7. Tweet about this giveaway.
8. Blog about this giveaway.

Leave a comment for EACH entry method please.

Winner will be chosen August 15, 2010. PLEASE make sure you leave an email address where I can get a hold of you! US entries only.
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Snapfish - Giveaway

Snapfish is such a great site, with affordable prints and AWESOME personalized photo gifts, including Back To School products!

Snapfish by HP is the number one online photo service, with more than 70 million members in over 20 countries and 2 billion unique photos stored online.

Snapfish is a division of HP, one of the world's largest and most trusted technology companies.

With Snapfish, you'll enjoy:

Secure, unlimited online photo sharing & storage
Professional-quality prints for as low as 9¢ each
Over 100 customizable photo gifts, from display-quality photo books and posters to photo mugs and jewelry
Our 110% quality guarantee and the Snapfish Price Promise
Free online photo editing tools
Private group rooms for sharing with friends & family
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Tanya Peila and Snapfish are giving away a $35 Gift Certificate!
Ways to enter to win:
1. Comment below why you would like to win!
2. Subscribe to my blog!
3. Follow Me on Twitter
4. "Like" Tanya Peila on Facebook.
5. Follow Snapfish on Twitter.
6. "Like" Snapfish on Facebook
7. Tweet about this giveaway.
8. Blog about this giveaway.

Leave a comment for EACH entry method please.

Winner will be chosen August 15, 2010. PLEASE make sure you leave an email address where I can get a hold of you! US entries only.
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Back To School! And you thought we were done!

Nope, ONE last day!

ALL Back To School Giveaways EXTENDED through midnight tonight!
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Saturday, August 14, 2010


Cable TV Options

So I wanted to share my findings!

We have been looking into our cable TV options since it seems like everything is SO expensive these days. Here is what I found.

Option #1 - Local cable provider (Hint Comcast is EXPENSIVE!) We pay almost $25 less with Click. But they do not offer it is all areas.

Option # 2 - Dish Network, since 1999 subscribers have been able to receive local stations from their dish satellite. It is called “local-into-local” service. If your local satellite provider does not offer “local-into-local” service you are suppose to be able to still use, you guessed it BUNNY EARS! With a variety of affordable packages, check your local provider. There is also lots of great information on TV service guides and satellite TV online!

Option #3 - Web based TV. There are other options that require your TV be hooked up to the Internet like, Netflix or From research online it looks like offers $10/month packages for movie and TV access but this requires compatible Blu Ray players. Our player should be compatible in Fall 2010. Although the sitcoms are not completely up to date I am told they are not as old as the Netflix options.

We currently have Netflix, not only was it a HUGH pain to get connected BUT it never works! I would rather wait for the DVD to come in the mail than deal with it. LOL but of course when I PAY for a movie through Amazon it works just FINE! It’s a conspiracy I tell you!

With technology these days we have gone from antennas on top of houses, to bunny ears, to hooking our TV’s up to the internet.
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Friday, August 13, 2010


Back To School Traditions and Tips

This is the end of our Back To School Madness but in reality just the beginning of it!

Here are some Back To school traditions you can use or start your own!

My kids are adults now, but when they were growing up, I took a picture of each of them on the first day of school every year (even when they were older and rolled their eyes and said, "Oh Mom!") They love to see those pictures now. Barb McCandless Norfolk, VA

We have two back to school traditions:

1) Mom and Dad both work full time and summer time is the busy season. So, our family doesn't have lots of extra time to do what might be considered normal summer time activities. But, on the last weekday before the first day of school. (Our school normally starts on a usually the Monday before..) everyone takes the day off and we just be together and swim in our pool and do fun things. Kind of one last day of fun before we go back to the grind.

2) We traditionally have quite an elaborate breakfast on the first day of school. (although probably lots of families do that...) Catherine Banks

My father always took a photo of the three of us on the first day of school each year. Sarah Jacobs

Here are a couple Back to School Tips too!

1) I make a whole week's worth of lunches for both kids on Sunday, and have them completely ready to go, labeled, and lined up in the fridge. I keep sandwiches from getting soggy by spooning cream cheese, jam, and what-not in little zip-lock bags. The kids squeeze out the fillings, putting all the ingredients together themselves at lunch. Knowing that lunch is ready to go gives us a ton more time to spend doing the things we need to do like homework, and the things we really love to do, like play the guitar and play with our new dog.

2) Living five minutes from school means that evenings are less stressful for everyone. We can stay up later, go out for ice cream, and walk the dog a little longer, knowing that if we have forgotten to do something the night before, our routine won't implode come morning. It just gives everybody more breathing room. JACQUELINE EDELBERG

One tip I have for a quick and healthy breakfast is microwaved scrambled eggs in a mug. My husband can't wrap his mind around the whole "microwaving eggs" concept, but it's delicious, and the cleanup is such a breeze compared to the skillet and utensils required for other egg preparations. Plus, eggs have such beneficial properties for children - the protein and nutrients keep them feeling fuller longer than, say, a sugary poptart or muffin. Here's how I do it: Spray the inside of a mug with nonstick spray. Crack an egg into the mug and beat with a fork. Add a splash of milk and whatever complimentary ingredients you have on hand (cottage cheese, shredded cheese, leftover meats or finely chopped veggies, etc.), and stir. Microwave for 35 seconds, stir, and microwave for an addiitonal 20. (For two eggs, microwave for 60 secs, stir, and then an additional 30 ... play around with the timing as microwaves vary ...) Eat them right out of the mug (even in the car, on the way to school!) or top them on a half english muffin or wheat toast. Wonderful! Best of luck on your story. Stephanie Webb
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We LOVE Waste Free Lunch Options! - Giveway

I have never seen such amazing waste free lunch products!

We have put together everything you need to start removing disposable plastic bags from your life. This kit contains the newest alternatives to plastic bags for snack time, lunch time and traveling — as well as a few other lunch essentials.

The kit includes:

Two reusable wraps: a Wrap-N-Mat (eco print) and a Kids Konserve Food Kozy, both reusable alternatives to plastic baggies! These mats wrap up your sandwich or snacks, then unwrap into a handy, sanitary placemat.

One snackTAXI Snack Bag (pick your pattern) - a snack-sack neatly fits rice cakes, pretzels or crackers, and is equally good for grapes, carrots or celery sticks.

Four reusable food containers: an Endurance Stackable Snack Can, Kids Konserve Steel Round Food Container, and ECO Lunchbox — all cute food containers made of durable, reusable stainless steel, plus a recycled plastic Preserve Food Storage Bowl with a screw-tight, sealable lid

One Bambu Spork

6-pack of Solid Rainbow Napkins

and not shown in the picture of all of the items, one of our newest products - a Fresh Snack Pack, combines the benefits of a placemat with a safe, reusable see-through plastic bag.

Tanya Peila and One Small Step are giving away a No More Plastic Bags Deluxe Kit!
Ways to enter to win:
1. Comment below why you would like to win!
2. Subscribe to my blog!
3. Follow Me on Twitter
4. "Like" Tanya Peila on Facebook.
5. Follow One Small Step on Twitter.
6. "Like" One Small Step on Facebook
5. Tweet about this giveaway.
6. Blog about this giveaway.

Leave a comment for EACH entry method please.

Winner will be chosen August 15, 2010. PLEASE make sure you leave an email address where I can get a hold of you! US entries only.
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Toy Story 3 Backpack and Lunch Tote - Giveaway

Little Man was SO excited to see this when it came in the mail. We found all kinds of Disney snacks in the lunch box that we can find at our local grocery store!

Woody and Buzz are back and just in time for Back to School! Disney sent us some GREAT Disney Back to School products to try out! Little Man was SO exited to open his Toy Story 3 backpack and find a Lunch Tote filled with all kinds of AWESOME Disney lunch snacks!

Tanya Peila and Disney Store are giving away a Toy Story 3 Backpack and Lunch Tote to one lucky reader!
Ways to enter to win:
1. Comment below why you would like to win!
2. Subscribe to my blog!
3. Follow Me on Twitter
4. "Like" Tanya Peila on Facebook.
5. Tweet about this giveaway.
6. Blog about this giveaway.

Leave a comment for EACH entry method please.

Winner will be chosen August 15, 2010. PLEASE make sure you leave an email address where I can get a hold of you! US entries only.
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10 Free Phonics Techniques Blogs

1. English Pronunciation Site offers videos that show you samples of English words and phrases. You can either keep by reading the blog or subscribe for free apps to follow along with these helpful videos. Make your mastery of English complete by referring to this helpful site.

2. How to Help Your Struggling Reader is a highly useful site suggests an article on how to intervene if your child is having difficulty reading, with practical tips of parents of these struggling children.

3. Phonics and Teaching Decoding Skills focuses on the age range of kindergartners through third graders, this blog advocates that students in this age range who are taught explicit phonetic strategies for decoding and encoding words have a stronger basis for later literacy learning.

4. Phonics Reading will provide aid for those learning English as a second language. This method is an exemplary phonics based system for teaching the English language in use for more than 30 years in the U.K. This approach was implemented to help teachers explain the complexities of written English, with its many rules and even more exceptions, in a child-centered manner.

5. Home School Blogger is a teaching blog that gives you a review of different phonics teaching methods available so that you can make a more educated decision when deciding on a phonics program. Don’t miss this pertinent site as your search for phonics services.

6. Phonics resources help parents and teachers assist children to learn and love to read by the use of phonics. Use the valuable information on this site to find the best books to read to your child to foster a love of learning and start them on the road to a lifelong love of reading. This site offers free teacher and parent resources. You can also be inspired by the real life success stories found here to help you be motivated as you help your child learn to love books.

7. Learning to Read with Phonics looks into learning to read by the use of phonics. This site offers other articles on this topic. Don’t let the growing illiteracy rate affect you or your household.

8. Building Blocks of Reading stressing phonemic awareness – the roots of spoken English – this site will definitely assist you as you work to help your child with word recognition. You have so many articles at your fingertips on this site you are sure to find an answer to any dilemma you encounter as your child learns to read.

9. Phonics Kids provides you with helpful overviews of the usefulness of phonics. This article points you to Phonics Starter and Phonics Builder, downloadable programs to help.

10. Teaching Phonics targets the particular needs of parents choosing to home school their children. Specific advice is provided for those who teach their children in the home.

About the Author
Margo Smith graduated with a B.S. degree from BYU. She enjoys writing about a variety of subjects from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) to online classes to reading. She draws from her own education, her years in college and an author’s perspective on life when compiling articles.
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Smart Knit Kids - Giveway

According to Sensory integration dysfunction is a term used to describe difficulty with sensory integration.The more current diagnostic nosology (Miller et al., 2007) uses the term sensory processing disorder to describe this condition.

Sensory integration dysfunction (SID) is a neurological disorder that was first studied in-depth by Anna Jean Ayres. Ayres describes sensory integration as the ability to organize sensory information for use by the brain. An individual with sensory integration dysfunction would therefore have an inability to organize sensory information as it comes in through the senses.

Little Man has made me cut all the toes off his footie pajamas. Smart Knit Kids socks helps him with this disorder.

Tired of hearing her son scream “these sock seams keep bugging me,” a mom decided something needed to be done. Every “seamless” sock her son tried had seams in it; there was not a truly seamless sock available. After explaining the frustrating morning routine to countless friends of her son’s struggles with socks, she was finally given the name of Knit-Rite, a textile manufacturer, and contacted them with her request for a seamless kids sock.

After several requests for seamless socks from "desperate" parents, SmartKnitKIDS socks were created. Knit the same way a caterpillar spins its cocoon, SmartKnitKIDS socks are started at the toe and worked up toward the ankle. This process insures a 100% seamless sock, so there are no seams to bug ya! A form-fitting design also keeps those annoying lumps and bumps out of the socks.

Since its launch in 2003, SmartKnitKIDS continues to find new markets and grow every year. Super soft material and a seam free design make it the most comfortable kid’s sock on the market.

SmartKnitKIDS come in a color for every personality: white, black, pink, purple, and navy. Ankle, crew and knee-high styles are available up to a youth size 8.

Tanya Peila and Smart Knit Kids are giving away one set of Smart Knit Kids socks!
Ways to enter to win:
1. Comment below why you would like to win!
2. Subscribe to my blog!
3. Follow Me on Twitter
4. "Like" Tanya Peila on Facebook.
5. Follow Smart Knit Kids of Twitter
6. "Like" Smart Knit Kids on Facebook.
7. Tweet about this giveaway.
8. Blog about this giveaway.

Leave a comment for EACH entry method please.

Winner will be chosen August 15, 2010. PLEASE make sure you leave an email address where I can get a hold of you! US entries only.
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Disney’s D-Signed tween fashion line - Giveaway

I cannot wait for Ashlee to fit into these clothes!!!!

Parents of tweens and young “fashionistas” on the hunt for the latest back-to-school fashions can now enjoy designs inspired by the style of their favorite Disney Channel characters such as Sonny Munroe played by Demi Lovato from Sonny With A Chance. Disney and Target today announce a new fashion line of apparel and accessories called “D-Signed,” available only at Target stores nationwide and on August 1st. Disney Consumer Products (DCP) collaborated with Target to deliver unique attire that can be mixed and matched for tween girls in sizes 4 to 16.

D-Signed is a departure from more general entertainment-inspired tween based clothing as these items do not portray the characters likeness, instead they’re inspired by their look and personality on the hit series—the items you would find in their closet. The fashion line and its mix-and-match versatility are featured in this new YouTube music video from Disney Living featuring Demi Lovato’s song “Me, Myself, and Time” directed by filmmaker Ross Ching.

"Tween girls want fashionable clothes that express their individuality and style but that moms approve of,” said Pam Lifford, executive vice president, global fashion and home, DCP. “Our D-Signed collection at Target brings it all together in a way that allows young girls to express their fashion sense with quality clothing at budget friendly prices.”

“We are thrilled to work with Disney on this fun and stylish program just in time for back to school,” said Trish Adams, senior vice president, Target. “The affordable line is perfect for our trendy tween guests that want to stand out in the crowd.”

The first installment of D-Signed is inspired by the personal style of the Sonny Munroe character from Disney Channel’s popular television series Sonny With A Chance. Ranging from $4.99 - $19.99, the Sonny Munroe “D-Signed” collection includes: embellished graphic tees, skirts, dresses, pants, knit dresses, shorts, fashion tops and jackets, headbands, necklaces and bags. This initial collection will be available for three months, followed by a second assortment of apparel and accessories from the Sonny Munroe collection available at Target just in time for the holidays. Future collections of D-Signed will include fashions based on the style of other popular Disney Channel characters including Alex Russo played by Selena Gomez on Wizards of Waverly Place.

Tanya Peila and Disney Consumer Products are giving away a D-Signed Hooded Jacket!
Ways to enter to win:
1. Comment below why you would like to win!
2. Subscribe to my blog!
3. Follow Me on Twitter
4. "Like" Tanya Peila on Facebook.
5. Tweet about this giveaway.
6. Blog about this giveaway.

Leave a comment for EACH entry method please.

Winner will be chosen August 15, 2010. PLEASE make sure you leave an email address where I can get a hold of you! US entries only.
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School Time Craft

It’s back to school time everywhere…or close to it! As I look back on each school year for my kids, I would have liked to have done things differently. I would do an album each year, with fun information such as the teachers name, students name, school name and city, fun dates they had each year…you get the idea! Mini albums are easy to do, and this idea…well you can use a page kit and add some extra’s to it, or create your own page kit!

Start to gather the following supplies, and let’s get started on a fun album to showcase your child’s school year!

5 sheets cardstock or patterned paper cut into 6 x 6 sheets
Paper to match above for matting
Embellishments such as die cuts or stickers
Black marker
Ribbon for side
Tag die cuts

Step one: Take 5 sheets of 12 x 12 cardstock or patterned paper and cut into 6 x 6 sheets. The will be the background to your project. You should have 20 sheets of paper by the time you are done.

Step two: Looking at the papers you have chosen, put them in the order you want. If I use 2 patterned papers and 3 plain papers, I put them in a way that is pleasing to the eye. Start to put them in order, taking 2 sheets from each pile until all of the papers are gone. The first two in the stack will become your front and back cover.

Step three: Place each paper back to back – gluing them together using either a hot glue gun or glue stick.

Step four: On the left side of each of the pages, punch 3-6 holes in each of the 10 pages you have. This will allow you to put ribbon through at the end of the project and decorate the pages with the ribbon in mind!

Step five: Looking at the stickers and or die cuts you have chosen to use, choose one that will be perfect for your front page and decorate it accordingly.

Step six: Take coordinating cardstock to create the inside of the album to put journaling and pictures on. On one of the 2 pages I would put hidden journaling to allow for either pictures or journaling on it. To do this, decide on the size of the shape you need and double it, folding in half to create a “hidden” part.

Step seven: Take the black fine-tip marker, put stitch marks around the edges of the cardstock to create a unique look.

Step eight: Add final touches to the album such as buttons, stickers, die cuts, journaling, or memorabilia to the project.

Step nine: Add ribbon in colors that match the project tied in knots to create your binding.

This type of album can be recreated in just about any theme, colors, or whatever that you would like. If you add eyelets or brads to your project, you will need to do step three differently, that would have to be done before you add the ribbon! I hope you enjoy this project and will share with me what you have done! I am planning a framed page for the school photo…a 12 x 12 page that could be put in an album each year by itself! As for the memorabilia that you want to keep or things that your child makes each year…keep the important pieces, and take pictures of the rest!
Enjoy your child’s school year!
Lynda Jeffs, Memories in Tyme
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5 Back To School Lunch Ideas

Lunch #1: BBQ Chicken for Champions
* One chicken breast, cut in half and pan fried in olive oil for 6 minutes a side.
* Add salt and pepper. Cut into strips. Serve cold dipped in dipping sauce.
* BBQ dipping sauce -- ¼ C (put in BPA-Free container)
* Veggies: steam broccoli for 7 minutes, run cold water over it (or defrost frozen broccoli)
* Place in BPA-Free container
* Veggie dipping sauce in BPA-free containerUse: BBQ sauce or honey

Drink: water, GFCF* V8 juice, GFCF juice box, fortified organic rice milk box
Snack if needed: GFCF chips & fruity salsa (¼ C) in BPA-free container
Toy Surprise: Girls: yarn bracelet, Boys: Miniature toy character figure

BBQ Sipping Sauce -- ¼ C (put in BPA-Free container)
* 1 C organic ketchup
* 1 Tbs lemon
* 1 tsp Worchestershire sauce (GFCF)
* 1 Tbs honey
* Dash of black pepper
* Blend all of the above until smooth

Fruity Salsa
* 1 C Salsa
* ¼ C grape, blueberry or raspberry fruit spread
* Mash the fruit spread into the salsa

#2 DLT (“Deli” meat, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich)
* Turkey or Chicken GFCF Preservative-free organic lunch meats (by Boar's Head, Applegate or Shelton)
* Toast 2 pieces of GFCF bread.
* Spread w/ 1 Tbs GFCF mayonnaise
* Place 2 slices of GFCF lunch meat
* Top with lettuce and tomato
* Cut into 4 squares
* Wrap in wax paper

FCF Potato Salad S cup from recipe. Serve in BPA-Free container
Fruit (apple or grapes) -- in BPA-Free container
Drink: water, GFCF V8 juice, GFCF juice box, fortified organic rice milk box
Toy Surprise: Hair scrunchie for girl. Baseball card for a boy.
Snack if needed: Peanut butter on rice crackers

GFCF Potato Salad
* 3 pounds potatoes, cooked until just tender, cubed, cooled
* Optional: 5 or 6 hard cooked eggs, cooled, coarsely chopped
* ¼ to ½ cup chopped red onion
* ¼ to ½ cup chopped celery, optional
* ¾ cup mayonnaise
* 1 to 2 tablespoons prepared GFCF mustard
* salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the dressing combining the mayonnaise, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Combine.
Combine potatoes, egg, onions, and celery and stir in the dressing.
Serves 6 to 8.

Lunch # 3 Kids Favorite Chicken Salad & Deviled Eggs
Chicken Salad S to ½ C served in BPA-Free container
Deviled eggs (1-2) -- served in BPA-Free container
Carrot sticks (wrapped in waxed paper) dipped in applesauce (in BPA-Free Container)
Snack if needed: GFCF chips & hummus in BPA-free container
Drink: water, GFCF V8 juice, GFCF juice box, fortified organic rice milk box

Chicken Salad
* 3 cups cooked diced chicken
* 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
* 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
* ¾ cup mayonnaise
* 2 tablespoons finely minced green onions
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
* salt and pepper, to taste
Combine first chicken, celery, and grapes in a large bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients; combine with chicken mixture, using as much or as little as necessary to moisten as desired. You may add a little more mayonnaise if you like a creamier salad. Chill and stir again before serving.
Serves 4 to 6.

Deviled Egg Recipe
* 6 hard-cooked eggs -- cooled, shelled, cut in half, yolk removed
* 1 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise
* 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
* ½ teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish, or to taste
* Paprika
Mash yolks and combine with mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and relish. Refill centers of the egg whites with the mixture. Garnish with ground paprika.
Serves 6 (2 halves per person)

Lunch # 4 Meatball Spaghetti Sauce
Meatballs in Spaghetti Sauce (1 C) without the spaghetti -- served warm in thermos
Wonderful Waldorf Salad: S to ½ cup
Broccoli trees, cold asparagus or carrot strips dipped in Russian Dressing or honey ( ¼ C in BPA-Free Container)
Snack: Organic GFCF “O”s
Fruit smoothie ½ to ¾ C in cold thermos or GFCF V8 juice, GFCF juice box, fortified organic rice milk box
Snack if needed: GFCF chips & bean dip in BPA-free container
Toy: Stickers appropriate to the child

Spaghetti and Meatballs
* 1 small yellow onion
* 1 slice GFCF rice bread
* 2 Tbs water
* 1 teas salt
* ½ teas oregano
* 1 pound ground beef
* 2 jars GFCF pasta sauce
Put onion in food processor and mince. Add bread, water, salt, and oregano and mix again. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl. Knead by hand together with ground beef until thoroughly mixed. Shape into desired meatball size. Put meatballs into a slow cooked with spaghetti sauce and cook for 4 hours. Refrigerate.
Serves: 4 to 6

Wonderful Waldorf Salad Recipe
* 1 C pineapple chunks (fresh or unsweetened canned)
* 3 C apples, peeled and cute in ½ inch cubes
* S C raisins
* 1 C carrots, thinly sliced
* S – ½ c walnut pieces (optional)
* 1 C GFCF mayonnaise

Fruit Smoothie
* 1 ¼ C rice milk
* ½ glass crushed ice
* 1 Tbs rice powder
* 1 Tbs coconut milk (optional)
Add one of the following and blend at high speed until smooth and thick.
* 1 sliced banana
* 1 cored and chopped pear
* 1 handful of berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or combination

Russian Dressing
* 1 C GFCF mayonnaise
* 1 C GFCF ketchup
Servings: 8

Lunch #5 Chicken & Magical Muffins
Baked or grilled chicken (leftovers from dinner) ½ cold chicken breast
Apple salad served in cold thermos
Veggie-Muffins 1-2
Fruit smoothie ½ to ¾ C in cold thermos or GFCF V8 juice, GFCF juice box,
fortified organic rice milk box
Snack if needed: Carrots & bean dip in BPA-free container

Apple Salad
* 2 large Red delicious apples, unpeeled, cored and but into 1 inch chunks
* T C crushed pineapple, drained or fresh pineapple minced - reserve juice
* S C celery, diced
* 2 Tbs raisins

* 3 Tbs soy yogurt
* 2 teaspoons GFCF mayonnaise
* 1 Tbs pineapple juice
* ¹Dˆ Teaspoon cinnamon
In a medium bowl, combine the salad ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients, Pour the dressing over the fruit mixture and stir.

Veggie- Muffins
* 1 store-bought GFCF cake mix prepared according to package directions- but not baked
* Add 1 C pureed vegetables -- using one or more of the following: carrots, squash, peas, green beans
* Add ½ C applesauce to batter
* Option -- stir in 1 C GFCF chocolate chips
Mix purees in with the batter, stir in chocolate chips (optional). Transfer the mixture to a muffin pan, filling each cup about two-thirds of the way. Bake at 375º F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Do not overcook, as this will result in dry muffins. Once cooled, these muffins can be frozen to be eaten later.
Yields 12 muffins

Lunch # 6 Sensory Sensible (for those who avoid “lumps and bumps”)
Pot Pie Muffins (2)
Fruit smoothie
Snack: Bean dip

Pot Pie Muffins
* 1 store-bought GFCF cake mix prepared according to package directions -- but not baked
* Add 1 C pureed vegetables -- using one or more of the following: carrots, squash, peas, green beans
* Add ½ C applesauce to batter
* Add ½ C pureed chicken
* Option -- stir in 1 C GFCF chocolate chips
Mix purees in with the batter, stir in chocolate chips (optional). Transfer the mixture to a muffin pan, filling each cup about two-thirds of the way. Bake at 375º F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Do not overcook, as this will result in dry muffins. Once cooled, these muffins can be frozen to be eaten later.
Yields 12 muffins
*Gluten-Free Casein-Free

The above is an excerpt from the book The Kid-Friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet
by Pamela J. Compart, M.D. and Dana Laake, R.D.H., M.S., L.D.N.
Published by Fair Winds Press; November 2006;$24.95US/$32.50CAN; 978-1-59233-223-6
Copyright © 2008 Pamela J. Compart, M.D. and Dana Laake, R.D.H., M.S., L.D.N

Author Bio
Pamela J. Compart, M.D., is a developmental pediatrician in Columbia, Maryland. She combines traditional and complementary medicine approaches to the treatment of ADHD, autism, and other behavioral and developmental disorders. She is also the director of HeartLight Healing Arts, a multidisciplinary integrated holistic health care practice, providing services for children, adults, and families.

Dana Godbout Laake, R.D.H., M.S., L.D.N., is a licensed nutritionist in Kensington, Maryland. Within her practice, Dana Laake Nutrition, she provides preventive and therapeutic medical nutrition services. Her practice includes nutritional evaluation and treatment of the full spectrum of health issues affecting adults and children with special needs.

By: Pamela J. Compart, M.D. and Dana Laake, R.D.H., M.S., L.D.N.
Article Directory:
Recipes from The Kid-Friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook;
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EasyLunchboxes back to school lunch boxes - Giveaway

There are SO many great lunch boxes out there to choose from! We found a great one called EasyLunchboxes that my husband actually ended up using!

KELLY LESTER is the owner, creator, and mom behind Though she is a singer and actress who can also turn a mean cartwheel, juggling is not one of her skills — except, of course, when it comes to her personal life. During the last two decades she has also been an entrepreneur, wife, and mother of three.

A graduate of UCLA's theatre department, Kelly has appeared in dozens of plays and musicals in the Los Angeles area. Kelly left show business for almost twelve years to found and run Art Plates, her own highly-successful gift manufacturing business and raise her three girls. Her handcrafted switchplates and soaps were sold in hundreds of museum stores across the country and direct to consumers via the Art Plates website.

After selling that business in 2006, Kelly defied the old adage that there are no second acts. In fact, sometimes there are actually many different acts. Since returning to performing, Kelly has appeared in a number of stage productions, films and TV shows. More about Kelly’s performing career HERE.

In her spare time, she enjoys listening to obscure musicals, and has an obsession with graphic design (especially fonts) and digital scrapbooking. When not in front of the computer, Kelly can be found in the kitchen preparing healthy lunches and dinners for her family (although she actually hates to cook and is actively engaged in teaching her daughters to take over the household culinary needs.) was born out of Kelly’s innate ability to do things efficiently while on a shoestring budget, and her desire to send her daughters to school with simple, healthy food, with little to no extra packaging or ingredients. Her past struggle with weight control inspires her to teach and model healthy eating habits for her children, and has fueled her dedication to always send them off to school with a great lunch. Read about Kelly's healthy lifestyle on MOM TRENDS.

Kelly combined her self taught business-savvy with her natural inclination to think “what would other parents want?” — to develop the perfect lunchbox system. She is thrilled and proud to share her Easylunchboxes and lunch bags with other families who will benefit by their simple design, great price, and amazing functionality. Additionally, by promoting the waste-free lunch movement, is helping the planet one lunch box at a time.

As a creative mom who knows how to makeover a lunch box, Kelly was recently hired to share tips and promote lunch box ingredients by Hellman's and Nestle, appearing in TV news segments seen across the country.

Kelly has been married to actor Loren Lester since 1988. They live in Woodland Hills, CA with their three daughters, Jenny, Lily, & Julia, and their dog, Albany.

EasyLunchbox Compartmentalized BPA-Free Plastic Food Storage Containers
Use our safe plastic containers for non-toxic food storage at home or on the road as part of the Easy Lunchbox System. EasyLunchbox divided food containers are custom designed so you can quickly pack a meal of healthy, economical, and varied food choices. Almost any menu can fit into the compartments. The large compartment is perfect for a sandwich or main entree. Use the two smaller sections for complimentary side dishes. Just one lid covers all the compartments and holds everything securely. No more time wasted looking for the right size plastic container & lid or baggie for every item you pack! And portion control is easy with our our safe food containers: just the right amount of food, without having to weigh or measure everything. I put the divided lunch containers on my counter at night, fill up all the compartments assembly line style with the next day’s lunch, snap on the lids, and stack the nesting boxes neatly in the fridge, ready for the morning race out the door. These are truly the best food containers for conquering morning chaos!

EasyLunchbox Divided Food Containers are Food-Safe!
Our safe lunch boxes are made of non-toxic, food-safe, polypropylene (PP or plastic #5). These are the top-choice safe food containers if you’re looking for BPA-free lunch boxes, phthalate-free lunch boxes and non-toxic lunch boxes.

Safe for refrigerator, freezer, microwave, & dishwasher!
We are proud to sell you our products and we think you’ll agree that they’re the best food storage containers you will find. They have met strict FDA requirements! Please click here for our full FDA approved test report.

EasyLunchboxes Food Storage Containers Offer Maximum Flexibility!
No more squished sandwiches and struggles trying to fit mismatched containers into oddly shaped carrying bags! The container fits perfectly inside our custom designed carrying bag. The best part? Unlike many other lunch box systems, there is plenty of room to add additional items inside the bag! Why be limited to just the 3 compartments if you want other items too? I like to send a container of yogurt along with a water bottle, a spoon and an ice block. When the weather gets colder, my girls’ favorite lunch is one that also includes a thermos of hot soup! There’s plenty of room for that, as well as the yogurt and other items! Although our EasyLunchbox containers hold food securely, they are not leakproof and we don’t recommend putting wet food into any of the compartments. That’s why we’ve made sure that there is plenty of room in the carrying bag to hold a thermos, or your choice of container for any items that contain liquid…your menu, your choices! On really busy days, consider packing two EasyLunchbox containers into one carrying bag for two packed ahead meals. There’s still room on top for an ice block to keep it all fresh for hours!

Our Compartmentalized Food Containers Make Cleanup a Snap!
Not only do our EasyLunchbox containers save you time preparing lunch, their clean up is a snap! If you’re currently packing food items for each child in individual plastic containers, and if you have 3 kids like I do, that adds up to 18 different plastic tops and bottoms! Every day! What a mess in your dishwasher, not to mention having to match them all up to put away or reuse. Now that’s a real timewaster! (And don’t you just hate it when your kids lose a top or bottom to one of those little containers? Maybe that’s why you keep running out!) EasyLunchbox divided food containers will come home intact and are a breeze to clean! Only two pieces hold the same amount of food, so at the end of the day, for 3 kids, that’s a total of only 6 pieces in your dishwasher that can easily be matched up and put away quickly. And the different colored lids are perfect to remind you whos lunch is who’s, in case you have a picky eater, or need to give a child different food items based on dietary restrictions.

EasyLunchboxes Plastic Food Containers are Economical and Durable!
No more wasteful plastic baggies and individual snack size packages to purchase. Buy in bulk, pack only what you need for the day, and feel good about the money you save! Easylunchboxes are very sturdy and will stand up to months of daily use. Please click HERE for more durability info and safety facts.

Set of 4 Containers (4 Lids, 4 Bottoms) only $13.95!
Colorful Carrying Bag only $7.95!

We’ve priced our products affordably and offer the containers in a set of four so that you can have some on hand to use, while others are in the dishwasher. You can afford to purchase more than one set if you have a big family, and you'll always have enough on hand that are clean ready to use! When they’re not in use, Easylunch containers nest inside each other and take up very little space!

Compartment capacities: Large section - 2.5 Cups, Smaller section - 3/4 cup, Smallest section- 1/2 cup.

Tanya Peila and EasyLunchboxes are a Container + Bag = The EasyLunchbox System.
Ways to enter to win:
1. Comment below why you would like to win!
2. Subscribe to my blog!
3. Follow Me on Twitter
4. "Like" Tanya Peila on Facebook.
5. Follow EasyLunchboxes on Twitter
6. "Like" EasyLunchboxes on Facebook
7. Tweet about this giveaway.
8. Blog about this giveaway.

Leave a comment for EACH entry method please.

Winner will be chosen August 15, 2010. PLEASE make sure you leave an email address where I can get a hold of you! US entries only.
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Thursday, August 12, 2010


Transitioning kids from summer fun to a school-year structure does not have to be difficult!

The three most important things to remember are:

Make it fun!
Make it Fun!!
Make it FUN!!!
The fourth thing … dab their baby toe in first ~ and yes, MAKE IT FUN!

Below are some quirky yet entertaining brain exercises for every age group.

Young kids:
A trip to the ice cream stand(!) … or their favorite restaurant! … Woo-Hoo! … There is one caveat: everyone must only use their non-dominant hand (if you are right-handed, you must eat with your left hand and vice-versa).
Folks at your neighboring tables might think you are nuts; however, those with kids will thank you when you explain what you are doing.
Benefit: This is a great exercise to engage both sides of the brain to get them working together.

Of course, most tweens will also enjoy a trip to the ice cream stand or their favorite restaurant to eat with their non-dominant hand. However, we might need something a bit more challenging at this age level.
If that is the case, play some fun word games with them to get their brain juices flowing. For instance, have them try to say their name backwards, then have them spell it backwards. Still using their name as the template for brain engaging fun, challenge them to hold an entire conversation over dinner while beginning every sentence with a word that begins with the first letter of their first name. For example, Debbie must try to begin every sentence with a word that starts with the letter ‘D’ … Do you understand what I mean? Did you try it yet? Don’t knock it till you try it. Difficult, huh?
Benefit: Nurtures creativity and independent thinking skills.

Teens/Young Adults:
This one might take a little homework on your part; however, like most activities involving our kids, the older they are, the more involved it typically becomes. Focus on something that your child is really into … music, reading, sports, etc. Research the newest/latest happenings which revolve around that particular subject. For instance, if your kid loves baseball, name his/her favorite players, their stats (RBI’s, ERA’s, number of home-runs) for the current season; if they are not a rookie, how do their current stats measure up to last season? Or their team’s wins, losses, ties, and placement in the league. Quiz them on these stats. Same for music; pick a favorite singer or band, and their newest album; name all the songs on the CD; which were hits? Do they know their placement on the charts?
Benefit: Gently wakes up the sleepy-summer brain, and gets your kid thinking again.

These might seem like rather ‘mindless’ exercises; however, the goal is to get creative juices flowing to encourage their own individual learning styles. There is no better way to do that than to appeal to something that lights up their eyes, and to do so in a comfortable environment. Remember, you’ve got to keep their head in the game, or it won’t do any good.
Although there are many benefits to each of the examples above, the byproduct is that you will be spending top-quality time with your child. Keep in mind that free creative playtime is a great way to learn what is in your kid’s head and heart, no matter how old they are! ... BONUS!

Debbie Mancini-Wilson is the resident Family Creativity Expert for CBS and NBC morning shows, and Author of the Best-Seller, 'Color My World' I demonstrate ways for parents to accomplish productive goals while having fun with their kids!
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